Tower Defense (from English – 'Tower Defense') or simply TD – the name of the genre of computer games. The main task of the player is to stop enemies with the help of towers and other fortifications, preventing them from reaching the edge of the map. Usually, enemies attack in waves, and each type of them has its own strengths and weaknesses, which must be taken into account when choosing and improving towers.
Games of this genre seem to be specially created for mobile devices and successfully combine dynamic gameplay, ease of control and more or less serious strategic depth. The only pity is that the popularity of the genre sometimes goes sideways for him – for one really good and interesting game there are a dozen low-quality crafts, where words such as balance or level architecture have never been heard.
In this post, I would like to recall several games that can already be called classics of the genre. And although they have existed in the Play Market for more than a year, very few have been able to surpass them during this time.
Kingdom Rush series
Kingdom Rush is a classic TD in the best sense of the word. At first glance, it may seem that there is nothing special in this game, everything is painfully standard and has already been encountered in dozens of other products. To some extent, this is true – the developers from the very beginning did not aim at revolution, but simply tried to make the most interesting and high-quality game based on the well-known rules.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers. One of the best tower defense games
And nevertheless, they still succeeded in the revolution. In the world of Tower Defense, Kingdom Rush occupies the same place as the Angry Birds in the arcade world. It is impossible to break away from the game, and despite all its deceptive simplicity, none of the dozens, if not hundreds, of clones could reach this bar.
In the game you will find a lot of interesting maps, a bunch of enemies with unique properties and characteristics, several types of towers, each of which can be improved many times over, bosses, heroes, magic, pumping between missions, additional game modes and much more.
Donate in games is present at the level of the same Angry Birds – you can buy a new hero or some kind of magic item, but it is not necessary to complete the game. It was clearly balanced without taking them into account, and when you stubbornly cannot pass a certain level, you just need to change the strategy, and not run to the in-game store.
At the moment, the Kingdom Rush series has three games, which one is better – you can argue for a long time. Personally, I liked the second part, Kingdom Rush Frontiers, the most. By the way, it has a free flash version that can be launched in a browser directly from a PC.
An old and undeservedly forgotten game that first appeared on Google Play (Android Market) five years ago. Compared to Kingdom Rush, it looks simpler, both in terms of game features and content, and in terms of graphical execution. And most of the monsters here are like two peas in a pod, and all sorts of additional bells and whistles like heroes or pumping are at a minimum. But this is all done for a reason – each level in Jelly Defense is a kind of puzzle, which is won first of all by 'head', not by 'hands'.
One of the key features of the game is the two enemy races, 'Red' and 'Blue'. Most of the towers work only against enemies of their own type, and there are too few universal solutions to go through the whole game on them. Here, as in chess, you have to calculate the moves in advance, otherwise, having bravely dealt with the first wave, you will absolutely not be able to do anything with the next.
The problem with many games in the TD genre is that after spending all the money on the construction and improvement of towers, for the next couple of minutes you can actually do nothing – in any case, neither this nor the next wave will be able to overcome the fortification line. There is no time to catch crows in Jelly Defense, because in addition to building towers, you must not forget to collect money falling out of monsters and switches with spells (rain of coins, meteor shower, earthquake, etc.).
Additional variety in the game is introduced by auxiliary types of towers, which allow you to conduct research, give a bonus to the gold received or increase the damage of nearby buildings. A good general in Jelly Defense involuntarily has to be also a good economist and decide for himself when and where it is best to invest money.
In the end, I would like to note the unusual style of the game. It is somewhat reminiscent of the World of Goo – here, too, is a completely insane world, inhabited by very strange creatures, which, despite a considerable amount of humor, tries to look serious.
Defense Zone series
The Russian gaming industry has been going through hard times in recent years, but it is all the more pleasant to come across exceptions. One of these exceptions was the Defense Zone series of games, the developer of which is our compatriot.
Although the gameplay in Defense Zone is pretty typical, I can't call this game a secondary one. Last but not least, thanks to the graphics and the serious game engine for this – both parts of the game are made on the basis of Unity. Realistic units, detailed towers, stunningly beautiful landscapes, excellent voice acting and musical accompaniment are noticeably different from what we are used to seeing in TD games.
Anyway, the game stubbornly pretends to be a serious strategy, and not an ordinary mobile time killer. This is an interface in the style of classic strategies, and the ability to place towers in arbitrary places, and the choice of the algorithm for each tower (attack the nearest targets, attack the most powerful enemy, and so on) and many other similar moments.
If we talk about the gameplay itself, then although it shines with originality, it is quite interesting. A multitude of enemies with their strengths and weaknesses, a dozen different towers, an airstrike and a Hellfire mode as the last argument of the kings – all this makes the game rather difficult and danimous.
Defense Zone is a prime example of the fact that the difference between games on mobile platforms and PCs can be much less than is commonly thought. Both in terms of technical implementation and in terms of the atmosphere of the game.
Despite the fact that all these games belong to the same genre, they turned out to be quite different from each other. And in my personal opinion, even despite their advanced age, they have not lost their relevance today.
But if you think that there are more worthy representatives of the TD genre on Google Play, then be sure to share the names of these games in the comments. After all, the taste and color of all markers are different and this is completely normal.